My wife just bought me an AstroMaster 114EQ which came with an "upgraded starpointer finderscope" -- it looks different than the one depicted in that link. I have tried following the instructions in their documentation to calibrate the finderscope with the primary telescope image and, unfortunately, the small red dot in the finderscope simply will not align with the main image of the telescope.

In attempting to calibrate it, I pointed the scope at a building about a mile and a half away and got it clearly focused in the main scope. I then looked through the starpointer finderscope and tried to adjust it but the range of adjustment would not allow me to line up the red dot with this building -- the dot was high and to the right and the adjustment knobs simply would not turn any more -- they were at the end of their adjustable range.

The supplementary documentation for the starpointer finderscope that came with the scope doesn't tell you which end points toward your target and which toward your face. I cannot really tell from the images in their website which orientation is correct. The mount doesn't seem to enforce any particular orientation. I assumed that the lense should be at the far end of the scope toward your objective and the power/brightness knob and the up/down adjustment knob, should be close to your face.

Can anyone suggest how I might remedy this? I did search here first and this other post did not seem to have the information I was after. I'm supposed to go camping the day after tomorrow and would love to be able to locate Jupiter. I'm concerned that the scope may have been incorrectly assembled...i.e., the mount is off or something.

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    $\begingroup$ The "lens" of the starpointer finder should be toward the sky—i.e., toward the open end of the main tube. $\endgroup$ – Brian Tung Apr 26 '17 at 22:20

I do not have one of these scopes, so my answer reflects general knowledge of astronomical telescopes.

Yes, the lens should be at the far end, away from your eye.

As for the alignment question, you can probably get a bit more movement in "left/right" direction by loosening the screws that hold the base of the finder to the scope, and twisting the mount and then re-tighten it. For the up/down adjustment, you may need to use a shim (a thin bit of metal) to adjust the angle, but the adjustment built into the finder is normally adequate.

I doubt if there is a problem with the scope - if you can get a good focus, that's fine.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. I hope to have another stab at it today and will report back with my results. $\endgroup$ – S. Imp Apr 26 '17 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ I believe your answer, which is reassuring, is the correct one. It could be clarified a bit. I removed the finder from its mounting rail and put it aside for a moment and then unscrewed the two screws that attach the mounting rail itself directly to the telescope. I then tried to seat the mounting rail as firmly as I could in its own mounting bracket and replaced the screws, tightening them gently but pretty tightly also. This appears to have solved things. I re-attached finder back to mounting rail and its alignment was much better. I was able to get the red dot in perfect alignment. $\endgroup$ – S. Imp May 1 '17 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ Glad it's worked out. $\endgroup$ – Dr Chuck May 1 '17 at 19:56

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